My new exhibition, “The Way That Light Attaches,” opens tonight from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Milne Inc, 81 Broadway, Kingston, and will be on view through August 31.
I’m excited to be showing new (quite different) work, shot in 2014-2015. The 15 24″x36″ and 16″x24″ color photographs, archival inkjet prints made on my Epson 7900, are about light, depth/focus, scale, motion–and flowers. (While searching for a title for the show, I jokingly considered “Flowers!” but of course Jeb! has the use of the exclamation point all sewn up.)
It’s not that I wouldn’t have thought that flowers were an appropriate subject for photography if I had never seen James Welling’s ground-breaking color photograms. It’s that I wouldn’t have thought about photographing flowers at all. I’ve always photographed people. But since moving to Stone Ridge part-time nine years ago, I’ve begun shooting interiors (Linda O’Keeffe’s spectacular book for Rizzoli, “Heart and Home: Rooms That Tell Stories”), damaged landscapes and plants. There are many things I like about making the new work, including the relative quiet, a change. My portrait shoots are often very noisy, in a great way–talking, laughing, eating.
My mother taught me the names of things in the natural world. Although she grew up in a squat apartment building on New Main Street in south Yonkers, she had a green thumb. Babette and I remember Mommy lavishing attention on her compact garden–there wasn’t much ground to plant, our suburban tract house sat on a typical, small lot–and choosing two young trees, a white birch and a red maple. Before I left for college, they had expanded to dominate the backyard.